Pilot Module Study Programme: Participation, Social Inclusion and Diaconia

The study programme enabled learners to develop their understanding of social inclusion and participation. This is understood as a phenomenon which affects persons and communities but which also has its roots in wider economic, social and political changes in the region and beyond. The impact of these changes on local contexts and on diaconal social work were analysed.

Learners developed their professional skills in social and community work and diaconia. They developed their analytic competence and the knowledge and the professional skills needed for social and diaconal work in a community context. Participants also developed their own project involving user participation or community development work.

The course was based on the assumption that learning has to start from the student´s own experience and motivation, so attention was paid to this in the first phase of the programme. Then the study module integrated theory, practice theory and practical work.

The overall study plan consisted of following main elements:

  • Contact teaching: 18 days in the interdiac center, Český Těšín, Czech Republic.
  • Work Experience: Practical experience is an important and integral part of interdiac studies. Work experience and assignments were carried out
    under professional supervision.
  • Projects, Assignments and Study: In- between the contact teaching and placement the students worked on the assignments and the analytic reading tasks.
  • Exam and evaluation: 4 days.

Studies throughout the module were organized through an internet based platform that enabled interactive learning and intensive contact with support staff involved in interdiac. Students could have their work experience in Silesia - reduced the travel costs for the contact teaching and gave an experience of work in a new context. Silesian Diaconia has substantial experience of organising such exchanges.

The Open University of the Diaconia University of Applied Sciences, Finland, accredited the pilot module. Successful students received a diploma with 30 credits (transferable under the European Credit Transfer System).